There has been a lot of buzz on Facebook, Twitter and a huge variety of blogs over the past few days regarding The Monstrumologist series by Rick Yancey. It would appear that Rick had a three book contract with Simon and Schuster US, and due to the number of oustanding reviews garnered by the two books so far, as well as various awards and award nominations Mr Yancey had expected to be given an extension to this contract, especially as S&S knew that he had plans to continue Will Henry's story into further books. However, much to his surprise, he has now been informed that his publisher were not interested in extending his contract. I will give my thoughts on this below, but if you want the full details from the man himself them I urge you to visit The Bookshelves of Doom blog here to read an interview with the author about this matter.
Long time readers of The Book Zone will know how highly I regard these two fantastic horror books, which in my opinion stand out as beacons of quality amongst the plethora of YA horror/paranormal books being released these days, so it was with a great deal of sadness that I read about this. However, my sadness turned to anger when I then discovered that Simon and Schuster had at roughly the same time signed a multi-book deal with Hilary Duff! Yes, that Hilary Duff, the one from countless films, most of which I would prefer to watch paint dry than watch. Yet another celebrity getting a book deal purely on their name, with a publisher hoping that the name will sell books. So sad. As a lover of good stories for kids and young adults I often forget that publishing is an industry like any other, and as such is very much focused on profit, constantly searching for the next cash cow to come along, and in the meantime happy to publish god knows how many below par Twilight wannabe books to keep the cash rolling in.
Supposedly, despite the rave reviews, and the awards, Rick Yancey's books just weren't selling quite well enough for the people holding the purse strings. So quality is losing out to making money yet again, and at the same time yet another so-called celebrity gets paid to inflict their stories on the unsuspecting (and celebrity crazy) public. I may be doing Ms Duff a disservice here, but I doubt it.
I hope Mr Yancey manages to find another publisher for his books so that he can finish his story, and his legion of fans don't get left waiting for the rest of his story, much as we have had to do with Joe Craig's Jimmy Coates series. This reader will definitely be buying the next book in the series and a review will appear on The Book Zone some time in October. In the meantime you can read my review of The Monstrumologist here and Curse of the Wendigo here.